Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Cereal, Sugar and You: A Health Food Person's Worst Nightmare!
I have been reading a lot about cereal lately, and thought I should further investigate the ingredients of mainstream, popular cereals, their advertising campaigns, and the result of eating cereal regularly as part of a daily habit. I'll start by saying that since I have given up refined sugar, it has been extremely hard to find cereal without any sugar. Sugar comes in the form of: corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, organic sugar, raw sugar, organic cane sweetener, etc. Most of these ingredients you will find in "healthy" varieties of cereal, otherwise, the ingredient label will most likely just read, "sugar". I have recently decided to eat only whole grains for breakfast and no more packaged cereal. I just know better but have been lazy! I mean, I have been eating cereal with no sugar, but even then, I know it's not as healthy as fresh sprouted grains and fresh fruits.
Cereal was brought to my attention by (http://paynowlivelater.blogspot.com/2008/08/worst-sugar-pushers-of-all-health-food.html) including that even health food stores don't discriminate much when it comes to packaged food ingredients. You may find that there are no "trans fats" (very trendy words right now) and maybe even no corn product, but you will most likely be sure to find sugar as an ingredient. The marketing behind the cereal/sugar pushers is outrageous! They are so good at making their product look good, that I find myself doing a double take when I see advertisements like this one: http://www.kelloggs.co.uk/specialk/challenge.aspx, which is called "Kellogg's Special K Challenge", where they advocate eating two bowls of their cereal to help you lose weight! Let me tell you that Special K does not care about the health of their customers! If they did, they would promote whole foods, vegetables and fruits at every meal, and would not try and sell crap in a box (here are the ingredients in an American sold box: Rice, wheat gluten, sugar, defatted wheat germ, salt, high fructose corn syrup, dried whey, malt flavoring, calcium caseinate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin E), reduced iron, niacinamide, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1), vitamin A palmitate, folic acid, and vitamin B12.). What I think is so interesting, is that Special K changes their ingredients for different countries. Although they include "sugar" as an ingredient for all countries, the UK and Australia do not have the "high fructose corn syrup" that we have. Weird! Special K is a giant marketing beast and care only about monetary gain. How they get that money is through very believable, expensive marketing.
I don't mean to pick on any one cereal company, in fact, there are plenty of "healthy" cereals that are doused with loads of sugar! It is so ironic to me. You can't trust any one store, or any one brand. I would say trust your instincts, but I guess if we truly did that, we wouldn't eat anything packaged to begin with!